The above illustrated version of The Flying Machine, drawn by Bernie Krigstein, was adapted from a text version of a short story written by Ray Bradbury that was originally published in a book called The Golden Apples of the Sun in 1953. The illustrated version, above, appeared in Entertainment Comics' Weird Science-Fantasy #23 in 1954. In the original, "The Flying Machine" appeared along with 21 other short stories.(see)
As for myself and human powered flight, even before I reached the ripe old age of 10 and long before any version of the Chinese flying machine showed up in print, at least in Engllish, I had, like the Chinese pilot, developed an almost uncontrolled interest in it. Even though in my early childhood had been filled with attempts at jumping off one-story porches, garages, and house tops with a bed sheet made into a parachute or behind my back tied to my wrists and ankles a la the glider chute of Captain Midnight, my very, very first serious attempt to build an airplane-like craft that would carry me in flight over any distance was initially based on the glider I saw in the 1947 movie Tarzan and the Huntress, combined with an already in place obsession with the works of the fabled Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci.
Under the guidance of my Uncle and a seemingly unlimited supply of money provided through the graciousness and wealth of my Stepmother, I researched and studied everything I could find on Leonardo and his flying machines. My uncle and I read magazine articles, scoured used books stores, went to libraries, talked to professors, and even obtained what initially became our working 'bible,' a copy of The Mechanical Investigations of Leonardo da Vinci written by Ivor B. Hart and published in 1925. Then, gathering all the info, we put about building our own machine by combining our 1948 ideas with Leonardo's fifteenth century ideas and Otto Lilienthal's 1895 ideas of some four-hundred years later. After the craft was completed, unknown to my uncle, I hauled it up to the top of the two-story house and holding on for dear life jumped off --- with the following results:
"Initially the flight played out fairly well, picking up wind under the wings and maintaining the same two-story height advantage for some distance. Halfway across busy Arlington Street though, the craft began slowing and losing forward momentum. It began dropping altitude rapidly, eventually crashing into the porch and partway through the front windows of the house across the way. Other than a few bruises and a wrecked machine, nothing was broken, although as it turned out, my dad wasn't nearly as proud of me as intended. I never forgot the thrill of that flight and carried that thrill and Leonardo's dreams into my adulthood."
(please click image)
(please click image)
TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS
Howard Hughes, Da Vinci, and Flying Machines
EARLY FLYERS FROM ICARUS TO LILIENTHAL
LEONARDO DA VINCI: 500 YEARS TO SOON
LILIENTHAL GLIDER TYPE IX (TYPE 9)
THE FLYING FRONTIERSMAN
THE WASHOE ZEPHYR
THE BLACK CONDOR: THE MAN WHO COULD FLY LIKE A BIRD
FLYING MACHINE OF DIEGO MARIN AGUILERA, FLOWN IN 1793
DID THE WANDERLING FLY?
ON THE RAZOR'S
BELOW IS A LINK THAT WILL TAKE YOU TO A TEXT VERSION OF THE
FLYING MACHINE AS FOUND IN THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN:
THE FLYING MACHINE
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
During the same century as attributed to the story of the above flight, some fifty-eight years later in 458 AD, as found in Chinese historical records (i.e., History of the Liang Dynasty, compiled circa 600 AD), a Buddhist monk named Hui Shen from somewhere within the landlocked area adjacent to China which now days would be considered Afghanistan, along with several other monks (some say as few as four, others say as many as 40), sailed across the north Pacific from China to North America, with Hui Shen returning in 499 AD to report his adventures to the court of the Chinese emperor. See:
BUDDHISM IN AMERICA BEFORE COLUMBUS
ANCIENT CHINESE IDEOGRAPHS IN NATIVE AMERICAN ROCK ART